“… I’ll just tell you, I’m scared,” said Hokulea Captain Nainoa Thompson.
Schools superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi will take them with her to New York next Wednesday.
The crew’s arrival is expected Tuesday.
The celebration showcased how much Aloha Spirit there is in Washington, D.C.
Hawai’i’s congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and congressman Mark Takai were also there to witness the arrival.
Chants, songs and dances were performed and gifts exchanged.
Hokule’a should reach Tangier by mid-morning Monday and will stay until Wednesday.
Hokule’a will be arriving in Washington, D.C. around May 18, then on to arrival in New York Harbor June 5.
The canoe left Honolua Bay, Maui, on May 1, 1976, to Tahiti.
The canoe will also be part of a new program reaching into classrooms.
Nainoa Thompson says late astronaut Lacy Veach actually planted the seed for Hokulea to sail around the world.
The crew plied through central Florida, 132 natutical miles on the manmade Okeechobee waterway.
Also on board at departure was JD Bowers, a first-time crew member and a member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
The crew and Hokule’a are scheduled to depart Cuba for Key West, Florida on Tuesday.
They expect to make arrival in Havana, Cuba, in about a week, around March 20, weather-permitting.
The meeting was not to hobnob with the British billionaire owner of Virgin Atlantic, it was a meeting focused on our oceans.
It took the crew 17 days, or 2,200 miles, to reach their destination.
Hokulea and 12 crew members left Natal, Brazil, a little more than a week ago.
“Now we’re moving into familiar waters, we’re dealing with the tropics again which is where Hawaii is located,” said Hokulea captain Kalepa …